Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Middle Graders Are Awesome Too!: Twinja Book Reviews Top 10 List of MG Books w/ AA Main Characters #BSFM

Now for some reason the Middle Grade Category doesn't get much love from a YA lovers. Maybe it's that the characters are just slightly younger? Maybe readers feel more conflicted with all the hoopla going on surrounding older readers reading stories intended for younger target audiences. 

But what's so amazing about this category is how much room there is to grow with a Middle Grade character! Many readers have to remind themselves that cool books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are Middle Grade so that's like waaaaay more years to hold on a story. We don't know about y'all but the longer the series, THE  BIGGER THE FANGIRL!

So today's list will be.....
Top Ten Middle Grade #SpecFic Titles

Set in Africa, this retelling of the classic Cinderella features not only a Woc lead, she's also disabled. Looking for a cute #Specfic title that includes intersectionality? Well look no further!

There isn't really anything to be said about The author Nnedi Okorafor that any major critic hasn't already said about her. But with this book in question, the lead character, Zahrah has one thing that stands her out from all the rest:

Dreadlocks with vines growing through them...Talk about a good hair day!

The cover alone made us wanna buy this book! And much of it's story takes place in Mali! Don't you just want it?

What's interesting about this title is that it seems to be one of the few MG books out there highlighting Jamaican mythology. Throw in a best friend with a disability and a possible crush on a girl of East Asian descent and you have one of the most underrated titles of this year!

Another title to make our list on the African Continent is this futuristic Sci-Fi Adventure. I mean how many Sci-Fi books do you know set in a futuristic Zimbabwe? Totally cool!

Did I hear anyone say Zombies? Loving The Walking Dead but looking for something the kids can stomach? Watch the character Bakari battle in this MG Zombie invasion!

Ya know the cool thing about the author, Jerry Craft and his book The Offenders?? Where else can you find a book that tackles bullying and getting superpowers at the same time? Not that any of us would call adopting the characteristics of the ones we've bullied, superpowers, lol.

Hearing Jewel herself talk about her book during this years #Kidlitcon, it wouldn't be right not to include one of her titles on our list!Psst... The main character Lanesha sees dead people!

To all those seeking an Alien Invasion told from the view of an AA girl with hilarious language,  you may have just found it!

Chronicles of The Red King: The Secret Kingdom by Jenny Nimmo
For any fans of the Charlie Bone series, in this prequel, it features his Sub-Saharan ancestor, Timoken, the legendary Red King!


For comic lovers! So technically Virgil Hawkins is borderline middle grade and young adult. But most 14/15 year olds are still learning what it means to be a teenager, so I think he's still a great candidate for our middle grade hero!
Static Shock is a personal favorite of mine. I cant speak for other comic lovers, but Static Shock reminded me of my youth experience. We didn't grow up rich, and where we came from, would be known to most people as "the hood." I liked the comic, but I would always tune into the animated series, when cartoons actually meant something to kids. 

I didn't even care that he was a boy. I just saw a kid with superpowers, in a neighborhood like mine, whose efforts helped his community more than anything. Shit, we needed a Static Shock where we grew up.

There's talk a Static Shock movie is in the works, and to be real, there should've been a movie about a young black kid in the inner city. Attack The Block being one of my favorite films, let's hope it has just an ounce of that magic. Because Virgil is magic.


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